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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Future Have and Have Nots

The is much talk these days about inequality and wealth distribution. Hearing about how much wealth to top 1% of people own and how the system is rigged to keep the little guy down is typical conversation. But what people don't realize is that this the tip of the iceberg. We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of societal stratification. The future will bring more inequality that you can imagine.

Future game changers include longevity treatments and aging cessation. When it is possible for a single person to accumulate enormous wealth and pay for medical treatment enabling them to live twice the normal human, that is seriously going to change society. Imagine entire generations of people laboring in corporations run by the same man. The way that we think about what human beings are will change. Looking down from the high-mountain at your fellow man with the ephemeral lifespan will change the people on top and those on bottom view each other.

Further stratification will happen as we take the first timid steps into making the human race extra-terrestrial. Barring some major technological leaps in science, it will always be expensive to lift mass out of Earth's gravity well, and thus only a limited number of people will get the opportunity to live beyond Earth and found the new colonies. Who will get to go is a function of two things: how much money you have and what skills you have.

For the poor, the only ticket out of the gravity well is becoming a specialist in one or more of the fields that a colony needs. Surgens, botenists, engineers, chemists, biologists, all these will have the opportunity to join the colony if you at the top of your class.

For the rich, they lend value to the colony by enabling the purchasing of ships, material, and equiptment before launch. Whilst on the colony, they must continue to contribute either by adopting a specialty, or continuing to enable the shipping of resources to the colony from Earth. For those first colonies when resources are slim, those that do not contribute should expect to bunk in the cold next to the airlock.

For those that are in the top of their class, opportunities will arise which enables them to leverage their expertise in the aforementioned technical specialties on the colony. Today we understand little about how to pass on mental aptitude from parent to child, thus, it is more reasonable to rely on children become better than average than to rely on them being the best in their field. However being a top performer will not be enough to secure a spot. What will sweeten the deal is if they have capital to invest in the venture. 

Investing for the future is therefore the most important thing that one can accomplish with your life. The energy you spend to invest now will magnify over time and hopefully leave your offspring with the capital they need for the voyage beyond Earth. It will ensure that your progeny is not left behind. Don't you want to give them the opportunity to explore the infinite horizon of space and marvel at the cold beauty of the universe?

I know I want to...

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